Abigail Rogers led South Kitsap with a 507 over three games to help her team finish second in the West Central District III bowling tournament. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Abigail Rogers led South Kitsap with a 507 over three games to help her team finish second in the West Central District III bowling tournament. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

State Bowling Preview: South Kitsap, Klahowya seeking state titles

PORT ORCHARD — After losing several top bowlers from last winter’s state bowling team, it’s not a surprise that expectations for South Kitsap were down a little heading into the 2020-2021 season.

The Wolves returned state bowlers Annabelle McElhaney and Abigail Rogers, who serve as this year’s team captains, but otherwise had a mishmash of younger or less experienced bowlers.

They went through the tough SPSL season with a 6-6 record and then just squeaked through as the fourth-place team at the league tournament. But at district, the team took its game to the next level and were the talk of the tournament as they jumped all the way up to second place to once again qualify for the 4A state tournament as a team.

“It wasn’t expected at all to make it to state as a team,” McElhaney said. “We wanted to, of course, but our hopes weren’t high.”

South Kitsap had done well through the first two full games, turning in team scores of 767 and 764. In game one, Maxine Winslow threw a 180 and Ariana Conrad bowled a 168 to lead the way. In game two, Rogers led the Wolves with a 180 and Alexis Clark turned in a 172.

But the third game was the turning point as the team huddled up and decided to turn down the pressure and just enjoy what they expected to be their last match together.

“We were trying to relieve all the pressure,” Rogers said. “When you get really tense, that’s when you start messing up and getting into your own head.”

Getting a little loose was just what the doctor ordered as the Wolves bowled an 896 in game three, led by Conrad’s 197. Clark (187), Rogers (184) and McElhaney (180) all turned in strong games as well.

The good vibes carried over to the Baker games where they rolled a 215 in the first, followed by a 113, 146 and 142. In the end, South Kitsap finished with 3,043 pins, good for second place in West Central District III.

Notably, the Wolves finished ahead of every team from the SPSL, including Curtis, which ran the table at 14-0. Not bad for a team that has spent much of the season finding their optimal lineup and consistency.

“The improvement has been huge,” Rogers said. “In the beginning, we had no idea who we were going to start each game.”

The 4A state tournament begins Friday at Narrows Plaza Bowl in University Place. The teams will bowl six regular games and crown the individual state champion. On Saturday, the teams take part in 14 baker games and announce the overall team champion.

“At the end of the day, we’re going to be in the top eight in the state, no matter what,” McElhaney said. “So we’re just going to enjoy our last time bowling together.”

South Kitsap will be represented by Winslow, Clark, Conrad, McElhaney, Rogers, Gillian Ciarelli and Laila Heiser.

Klahowya wins league and district titles to qualify for 1A/2A tournament

The Eagles continued their domination of the Olympic League with an undefeated record and a victory in the league tournament. They went on to capture a title at the West Central District III tournament and now turn their attention to the 1A/2A tournament, which begins today at Narrows Plaza Bowl.

Klahowya’s team consists of individual Olympic League and District III champ Jacklynne Stroup, Hailey Johnson, Faith Chamness, Hanah Catt, Lucille Mitchell, Kendall Fite and Shelby Perkins.

Olympic will send two individuals — Kyra Guski and Rebecca Converse. Meaghan Malone will be the lone representative Bremerton.

Kiana Mercadal of Central Kitsap qualified for the 3A tournament.

More in Sports

WIAA delays start of football season to Sept. 5

The WIAA Executive Board voted this month to delay the start of… Continue reading

Seattle to Portland bike ride goes virtual

Although the Northwest cycling season was effectively stopped short after February’s Chilly… Continue reading

Putting in the miles: routes to help you complete your virtual summer races

Normally at this time of year, racing season for professionals, amateurs and… Continue reading

WIAA approves seeding committees for all team sports beginning in the fall

The WIAA began an experiment two years ago when it approved the… Continue reading

Bremerton junior Te’Caela Wilcher is one of two remaining members of the two-time defending 2A 4x100 relay champions. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Krulish: What the spring sports season might have brought us

It’s early May, and the high school sports scene in Kitsap is… Continue reading

Kingston Rotary postpones June golf tournament

The Kingston North Kitsap Rotary Club has postponed its annual Swing for… Continue reading

North Olympic Discovery Marathon cancels June 7 race, goes virtual

The Olympic Peninsula race sees plenty of participation from runners in Kitsap County

The spring sports season has been canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak

The announcement yesterday from Gov. Jay Inslee that traditional, on-site education would… Continue reading

WIAA: spring sports could be held if schools return by May 4

Although the prospect of a spring sports season looks bleak, the WIAA… Continue reading

Seattle sports teams and major event organizers issue public plea: Stay home

When the Seahawks, Mariners, Sounders FC and Storm speak, will fans heed… Continue reading

North Kitsap’s Kobe McMillian was one of three Vikings name to the AP’s 2A All-State team. McMillian and Jonas La Tour were first-team selections and Shaa Humphrey was an Honorable Mention. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Three Vikings named to Associated Press All-State teams

Sportswriters and editors from the Associated Press have selected three Vikings for… Continue reading

Like all others around Kitsap, North Kitsap High School’s baseball field has no activity in its future. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Local athletic fields left empty as schools shutter for weeks

At a time when Kitsap County athletic fields should be beehives of… Continue reading